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The Dark Monk (US Edition) (A Hangman's Daughter Tale) Paperback – June 12, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
His characters are well crafted, the story is a maze of mystery and intrigue with a dash of romance. I adore Magdalena, Jakob's daughter. She is a passionate, intelligent woman who I admire for her strength of character. Her lover Simon, the town doctor, is certainly a more interesting character because of her presence in his life. If not for her, he'd be just another small town doctor who cares far too much for his appearance. She gives him depth, and he gives her an ounce of respectability, which is virtually impossible for a woman in her social position in that time period. Being the daughter of the hangman was certainly a fact that made people fear her, and gave her little options in life. Her relationship with Simon really mixes things up a bit in this story, especially when the beautiful Benedikta Koppmeyer arrives in town.
This story centers on the murder of a priest, and the confounding clues he leaves behind. We are swept into the world of the Knights Templar, their secrets and mysteries that have made them so fascinating throughout history, are laid bare here, and are center stage in this well crafted tale.
I look forward to further installments in the Hangman's Daughter series. Thank you Mr. Potzsch, for creating these fascinating characters!
This is truly a 5-star success!
The plot is set in motion when a poisoned priest uses his dying wits and strength to leave a clue that proves a gateway into a bigger mystery, drawing in the stalwart trio of hangman, executioner, and healer Jakob Kuisl; his somewhat stubborn but attractive daughter Magdalena; and the town physician's son who is a bit of a dandy but smart as a whip, Simon. But while this mystery is the story's center, other events are also crucial, chiefly, a group robbers are preying on travelers, particularly merchants and their cargos, and a deadly illness is killing many of the villagers.
Along with the murdered priest's sister, this group follows a trail of various clues and riddles, each leading to more answers and more questions. Tracking this core group is a trio of murderous monks (not sure which one is actually the dark monk of the title), various church leaders, and another trio of soldiers-for-hire. As you might imagine, murder, mayhem, kidnapping, and so forth ensue.
The story seems as though the scenes were staged for a play or graphic novel with characters tripping over each other in unexpectedly places. I thought that the plot and resolution hinged on a series of increasingly unlikely coincidences playing out and bringing the characters back together in, for me, an ultimately unsatisfactory resolution.Read more ›
I found The Dark Monk to be fast-paced and interesting without sacrificing the feel of the era in which the story is set. The pace of actual events may take place at 17th century speed, but the interactions and descriptions of the various character's mental workings was very well-written and entertaining. The book has several interesting characters and you get to hear the story from their point of view in different chapters. The main characters are Jakob (the hangman), Magdalena (his daughter) and Simon (what passes for a doctor in the 17th century).
Jakob is the kind of iconoclastic detective I'm a real sucker for. He is going to do things his own way and ultimately will rely chiefly on his own counsel, even though he allows Simon and Magdalena brief glimpses into what is going on in his head.
Simon is the kind of character who you alternately like, pity, despise, and then like again. He can be vain and flawed, but he also realizes his short comings and exhibits humanity during a period of time when people had to scratch and claw 24/7 just to keep going.
Magdalena alternates between fierce pride that she is the hangman's daughter and dangerous despair that her position in her village will prevent her from having what she wants in life-- namely, Simon.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy the detailed descriptions of scenery, and know about the saints and knights. I admire the hangman and his legacy. It is my cup of tea, and am reading the series. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by erika m. morgan
Good follow up to the original book. The characters developed even more as the story goes on!Published 7 days ago by Kayla Temple
Like many of the other reviewers, I had the English translation and think that something got lost there. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Shannon R. Combs
I will be looking for more of the series. Many twists and turns the biggest being at the end of the book.Published 16 days ago by MOOSE1
After reading the first novel in this series, I knew I was going to read the entire series. With the second book, the author continues to create a fascinating story. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Waneta D
The writer keeps you continually entertained. One begins to feel they know the characters in the book. Lots of adventure and excitement.Published 1 month ago by Terri Zettler